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5 Things NOT To Include In Your New Zealand Physio application....

Updated: Apr 16

Getting started with your New Zealand physio registration is quite a daunting task. The amount of paperwork you need to collect, fill out, get certified and then collate into something that resembles a logical collection of information is immense. And time consuming.

But once you’re on your way with it, getting stuck into collecting CPD certificates, contacting previous employers to be references, arranging to get documents certified, you soon feel like it is eventually coming together and you will soon be able to send it off.

But wait! Stop for a few minutes and please just check that you haven’t included any of these things, as your application will most definitely get returned to you. (I know because mine did!)

So make a cuppa, sit down and go through this list to make sure you don’t include any of these things in your application.


Well what exactly does that mean?

It means exactly what it says! Don’t include ANYTHING that can identify a patient or client. Unless, of course, you have a signed declaration from the person, saying they are happy for you to include this info in your New Zealand physio application. I’m guessing most people won’t have this, or have gone to the lengths to get a patient to sign a document to say this, so it’s safe to say it’s easier to leave anything with patient identifiable info out of your application.

So a lot of people then ask me what exactly can they put in, and how can they write a ‘reflective statement’ without patient identifiable info in it. Very good question, and I’ll get to that after I’ve explained exactly what NOT to put in, with regards to patient-identifiable information.

So when I applied, I was informed by the NZ Physio Board that I had ‘breached confidentiality’ by including several pieces of evidence that included patient identifiable information. These being:

  1. A case study for my acupuncture qualification -this case study as about a patient I had used acupuncture on and it was fully anonymised. There was no patient identifiable info in the case study. It literally said ‘Patient A had chronic low back pain’. That was all. But according to the NZ Physio Board, I had breached patient confidentiality as the patient had not given me consent to include this case study in my New Zealand Physio application. I can’t say I agree with them on their stance here, as the case study was fully anonymised – but these are the rules the NZ Physio Board go by and you have to play by their rules if you want to get registered in NZ.

  2. Reflective statements included in my ACPSM (Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine) Bronze pathway. Basically a collection of reflective statements I had used to gain my Bronze membership of the ACPSM. Again, these were also completely anonymised reflective statements e.g. “I attended to a rugby player on the pitch who had hurt his knee etc”. But again, apparently, these clients had not given me permission to include this info in my New Zealand physio application, therefore theNZ Physio Board believes I had breached their confidentiality.

However, personal reflective statements about patients I had treated (that weren’t used as part of any other course or qualifications) were deemed as acceptable by the NZ Physio Board and they didn’t feel I had breached the client’s confidentiality. (I personally find this bizarre, as in both cases above the info was completely anonymised and in exactly the same format as any other reflective statement I had included in my application which wasn’t deemed as a breach of confidentiality.) But, to ensure you get your registration through without any hiccups, be really careful and ensure all info is anonymised and definitely don’t include any patient case studies or reflective practices that you have used as part of other courses or qualifications.


Any photographs that include people should be taken out. Unless of course, you have a written declaration from the person in the photo that they are happy for you to use this photo as part of your NZ Physio application. (I’m not sure many people would go to these lengths just to include something with a photo on it e.g. a presentation you have given). It is easier to remove any photos from any of the evidence you are submitting.


You may be wondering what I’m talking about here. Well, have you ever put together an in-service training (IST) at work and wanted to make your presentation look a bit more interesting with some relevant images? So you do the usual thing and google for images of SIJ tests or upper limb tension tests. You get some nice images that show what you’re talking about and pop them into your presentation. Well, if you then put this presentation into your New Zealand Physio registration application as evidence of how great you are as a physio, demonstrating how you continue to learn and teach others etc, then you’ll get pulled up by the Board for using images that are copyrighted/that you don’t own. So check what you’re putting in as evidence and take out any images on any ISTs that you’ve done and if you can’t remove the images (for example if you haven’t got an electronic copy of the training anymore) then just don’t include this as evidence – it’s not worth the risk!


As part of my evidence, I had anonymised and used some of my student and junior supervision forms. So this is where I was the supervisor (not me being supervised). So when I had supervised student physio’s or junior physio’s and written up the documentation of this supervision. Again, I had fully anonymised this information so there was nothing identifiable within it. But again, the NZ Physio Board felt this was a breach of confidentiality as I had not included a written declaration from the people involved to say they were happy for me to include this info in my NZ physio registration application.

However, it was fine for me to include supervision sessions where I was the one being supervised. But what I would say is just leave any supervisory stuff out as part of your evidence – unless you are going to get a written declaration from the person involved to say they are happy for you to include this as part of your NZ Physio registration application.

So there are a few things for you to think about and hopefully help you along the way with making sure application doesn’t get returned to you. Or as happened in my case, you get a letter from the Board informing you of all the issues with your application and you have to correct them all and write a letter explaining why you have breached confidentiality!

Good luck and keep going with your application, it’s definitely worth it in the end. If you feel like you need more help with your application then check out the which helps you go through the registration process step by step.

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